We are thankful for our Father’s provision and blessings to us since our last letter. Easter is another great time to share the Gospel in China. We had an Easter party in our teammate’s home, and our whole team invited folks to come. During the party one of our teammates began walking around and getting acquainted with folks before getting started with the activities and service. He began talking to a man and discovered that no one had invited him. He asked another team member and me about this particular man and if we knew who had invited him. I had not, and neither had our other teammate. This man was a policeman, uninvited, at our Easter party. We were going to share the Gospel and planned to offer baptism (our biggest “no-no” here) afterward. So now what, Father?
It ended up that another team member had invited the policeman’s wife to the party, not realizing what her husband’s employment was. Their son was also there at the party. As the details started to come together, the decision was made to basically proceed as we had planned. We had games, singing, special music, a video describing Jesus’ life and Who He is, and the message with translation. The policeman listened to most of the message and, when the prayer for salvation was offered, simply walked out for a minute. Apparently, since they had been invited as friends, it would have looked very bad for them to cause trouble to “friends,” thus preventing problems. Ultimately, of course, safety is of the Lord (Proverbs 21:31). Praise the Lord for His safety!
I had invited some deaf folks to the Easter party. On one of our weekly dates, my wife and I had gone to a sporting goods store. I had great grandparents who were deaf, so I have a bit of an interest in deaf people. In relation to sign language, about all I can do is spell. I invited the man to the Easter party, and he and his wife came. Unfortunately, the video did not have Chinese subtitles for them to read. They were sitting near the back and, because of their inability to hear, were getting distracted. So I began to “talk” to them.
This may not sound very amazing until you understand the context. We had an American (me) whose Chinese is not fluent, trying to talk to Chinese people. Included in that complexity was that Chinese is a tonal language, where saying the right word with the wrong tone still makes it incorrect (The language has a total of five possible tones. The word ma in monotone can mean “mother”; in a falling then rising tone, it can mean “horse”—don’t mix them up!) The next “problem” was that I don’t do very well in American Sign Language, let alone Chinese Sign Language. A good percentage of the spelling signs are different.
I am trying to convey the most important story in the world, where accuracy is imperative. But never fear, the Holy Spirit of God is all-powerful, alive, and well; and He specializes in difficult and impossible situations. He is more than capable of using anyone who will yield himself to Him. The couple could lip read what I was saying to them in Chinese, and they couldn’t hear any mistakes in any tones I may have said incorrectly. I showed them verses of the Bible and used a presentation on my iPad to share with them the Gospel quite clearly. Praise God that they at least heard the message! They had left their electric scooter on for the duration of the whole meeting and no one had stolen it. That was another blessing! Please pray that these will trust Christ.
I met a man named T–y downstairs from our apartment, who helped me with some translation. He came to our home and heard the Gospel. He had a mother who was a Christian, but he had gone to the public schools where atheism was taught and had not yet believed. We invited him to come to our Easter party. He came and brought his sister-in-law. At the Easter party, his sister-in-law B–y decided to believe. Actually, the same day I began writing this letter, we had T–y and his family over to our home. That night T–y put his trust in Jesus. Please pray for T–y’s wife M–y to believe in Christ also.
Another answer to prayer is in regard to a lady named We–y, whom we met in We–ou. She had a father whom she was burdened for regarding salvation. Shortly after praying for his salvation, he was diagnosed with cancer, and We–y was blamed for this by her parents (she was the first Christian in the family). A few weeks ago, she texted us excitedly to tell us that some Christian brothers in Sh—ai had gone to see her father, and he wanted to believe. He had asked We–y’s sister, whom my wife had previously been able to lead to the Lord in our living room, how to believe, and she was able to lead him to Christ.
We are also thankful for a lady named D–i, whom my wife was able to see saved in our home on an appointment, and a student named Ca–y, whom I was able to see saved at school.
W-ly, a man whom I have helped disciple in We–ou, shared how he was able to see one of his friends saved. He recently made a statement to me about God helping him grow by using circumstances that initially he didn’t understand. Please pray that God will protect and continue to use this man and his school as he makes decisions. It is exciting to see how he is growing in the Lord!
We are excited to announce that we are expecting our third baby, due in early February! Also, we believe that God is leading us to come back to the States and go on deputation this September. This will allow us to focus more on the language and facilitate church planting. We would like it if God would allow us to raise our support quickly so we can return to the field. Please also pray for the following: safety for mother and baby, wisdom (a lot of it), the Holy Spirit’s power, souls saved, travel safety, getting the right vehicle, and good health. If you know of a church that would like to have us present our ministry, please contact us.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support!
FBMI Missionary #6011